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Mr. Smith (album)

Mr. Smith is the sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist LL Cool J, released on November 21, 1995 by Def Jam. The album has been certified Double Platinum in the US by the RIAA.[2]

Mr. Smith
Mr. Smith - LL Cool J.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 21, 1995
Recorded1995
Genre
Length58:25
Label
Producer
LL Cool J chronology
14 Shots to the Dome
(1993)
Mr. Smith
(1995)
All World: Greatest Hits
(1996)
Singles from Mr. Smith
  1. "Hey Lover"
    Released: October 31, 1995
  2. "Doin' It"
    Released: February 20, 1996
  3. "Loungin"
    Released: June 25, 1996

OverviewEdit

Mr. Smith was produced by Rashad Smith, Chyskillz, Chad Eliott, Trackmasters and Easy Mo Bee. Artistes such as The Emotions, Monica and Foxy Brown also made guest appearances on the album.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [3]
Robert Christgau [4]
Entertainment Weekly(B)[5]
Q     [6]
Rolling Stone     [7]

Mr. Smith garnered positive reviews from music critics who found it a return to form after the West Coast-influenced 14 Shots to the Dome flopped. AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the album for working more towards LL's romantic side that while toned down remains sexually invigorating, concluding that "Mr. Smith isn't a perfect record – there are too many slack moments for it to qualify as one of his best – but it proves that LL Cool J remained vital a decade after his debut."[3] Robert Christgau cited "Doin' It" as a "choice cut",[4] indicating a good song on "an album that isn't worth your time or money."[8] Mike Flaherty of Entertainment Weekly praised the album for balancing the various personas LL adopts throughout the tracks, concluding that "while his cutting-edge days are well behind him, this is far from the self-parodying effort we had every reason to expect."[5] Cheo H. Coker of Rolling Stone also praised the album for delivering both hardcore rap songs and love ballads that contain great production and lyrical dexterity. But Coker noted that tracks like "No Airplay" and "Get da Drop on 'Em" showcase LL better as a tough lyric spitter, concluding with, "Maybe one day LL will realize that it's his electrifying flow, not his Casanova aspirations, that have made him a rap superstar for 10 years running."[7]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."The Intro (skit)" 1:33
2."Make It Hot"Trackmasters4:31
3."Hip Hop"Trackmasters5:00
4."Hey Lover" (featuring Boyz II Men)Trackmasters4:44
5."Doin It" (featuring LeShaun)Rashad Smith4:53
6."Life As..."Easy Mo Bee2:44
7."I Shot Ya" (featuring Keith Murray)Trackmasters3:51
8."Mr. Smith"Chyskillz3:59
9."No Airplay"Chad Elliot5:43
10."Loungin" (featuring Terri & Monica)Rashad Smith4:12
11."Hollis to Hollywood"Trackmasters3:58
12."God Bless"Rashad Smith3:47
13."Get da Drop on 'Em'"Trackmasters3:57
14."Prelude (skit)" 0:30
15."I Shot Ya (Remix)" (featuring Keith Murray, Prodigy, Fat Joe and Foxy Brown)Trackmasters5:03

Track notesEdit

  • "No Airplay" was edited on both the edited and explicit versions of the album. The explicit version only backmasks on the song, while the edited version even edits the intro.
  • "Hollis to Hollywood" is sampled from his verse of Craig Mack's "Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)" on the chorus.

SinglesEdit

Year Song Chart positions
Billboard Hot 100 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles
1995 "I Shot Ya" - #55 -
"Hey Lover" #3 #3 #1
1996 "Doin It" #9 #7 #2
"Loungin" #3 #4 #1

All of LL Cool J's music videos off this album were directed by Hype Williams.

ChartsEdit

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1995) Peak
position
Dutch Albums Chart 33
German Albums Chart 75
Swedish Albums Chart 60
UK Albums Chart 90
US Billboard 200 20
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 4

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1996) Position
US Billboard 200 28

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[11] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mr. Smith - LL Cool J - Credits". AllMusic. AllMusic. N.p., n.d. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  2. ^ "LL Cool J: Mr. Smith". RIAA.com.
  3. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Mr. Smith - LL Cool J". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: LL Cool J". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Flaherty, Mike (December 8, 1995). "Mr. Smith". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Mr. Smith (CD) by LL Cool J". Tower. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Coker, Cheo H. (February 8, 1996). "LL Cool J - Mr. Smith". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Key to Icons". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – LL Cool J – Mr. Smith". Music Canada.
  10. ^ "British album certifications – LL Cool J – Mr. Smith". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Mr. Smith in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  11. ^ "American album certifications – LL Cool J – Mr. Smith". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.